Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Many Moods of Winter Wolf – The Confessions of an Author ~ By RJ Blain, Author of Winter Wolf (Witch and Wolf, Book 2)

I have a fantastic announcement!!  

RJ Blain is stopping by the blog today!

Please welcome RJ as she talks about The Many Moods of Winter Wolf – The Confessions of an Author:

After having written and published four different novels, I have learned that I have at least one dirty secret about each and every book. Dirty secret number one applies to all of my novels: each one is different.

How I wrote them was different. How I edited them was different. Every little aspect, from story concept to drafting, was different. It’s rather bizarre—and quite a bit disturbing—that so many elements of how I write a book changes as I draft, edit, and produce a novel for publication. In a way, I think it’d be a lot easier on me if I had a set process.

But I can, because every book is different. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. By changing how I work on a book, I think I can write better stories and pursue characters in different ways. After all, no two people are alike. Why would two main characters from different books be written in the same exact fashion? I think because I change my process and go with the flow of each book, I’m able to make sure my main characters are unique and not carbon copies of each other.

Winter Wolf had a lot of unique elements to it. The characters were completely different than anything I’d written prior. This made the book difficult to write, difficult to edit, and challenging on all fronts. I’m glad I stuck with it, but this book was hard on me in so many different ways. Between my real life and the situations within the novel, I was hard pressed to finish it. It’s something I’ve never experienced before when writing a book.

Usually I’m able to write without much delay right to the ending. This wasn’t the case with Winter Wolf. I still don’t know why this book was so difficult for me. Could it have been the fact the characters were so dramatically different from anything I’d written before? Could it have been the fact that I wanted this book to be as perfect as I could make it?

I doubt I’ll ever know.

But I did walk away with a lot of lessons learned from writing this novel. First, and perhaps most importantly, I should never discount my determination to sit down and do something I set my mind to. Without this determination, I never would have overcome the hurdles I encountered writing Winter Wolf.

Most interestingly, while it was the hardest book for me to write and edit, it was also the hardest novel for me to let go of and send off into the wilds. Every error I found after I thought I was done and my editors had combed through it multiple times was a blow I couldn’t forgive myself for. I still don’t.

Here is my final secret for Winter Wolf. I cringe at the thought of errors—and of things people perceive as errors. The English language is funny like that. I live in Quebec, Montreal. English is a different beast here than it is where I grew up in the deep countryside of Maryland. As a result, I speak and write in a hybrid of French-Canadian English and Mid-East Coast English. One of my editors is from the Midwest. Another one is from Maryland. The third one is from West Coast California. My fourth editor lives in New York City.

As a result, Winter Wolf, as well as most of my novels, combines five different dialects of North American English. I’ve had editors getting into spats over the linguistics of the novel… with me stuck somewhere in the middle. I learned a lot, yet I also feel like I haven’t learned enough.

And perhaps that is one of the most interesting things about Winter Wolf. Of all of my novels, it is the one that proved I have so much left to learn about being an author.

Winter Wolf
Witch and Wolf, Book 2
RJ Blain

Publisher: Pen & Page Publishing
Release Date: November 24, 2014


About Winter Wolf:

The Hunted Wizard

When Nicole dabbled in the occult, she lost it all: Her voice, her family, and her name. Now on the run from the Inquisition, she must prove to herself—and the world—that not all wizards are too dangerous to let live.

The savage murder of a bookstore employee throws Nicole into the middle of Inquisition business, like it or not. Driven by her inability to save the young man’s life, she decides to hunt the killer on her own. Using forbidden magic to investigate the past, she learns that the murderer is in fact a disease that could kill the entire werewolf race.

Forced to choose between saving lives and preserving her own, Nicole embraces the magic that sent her into exile. Without werewolves, the power of the Inquisition would dwindle, and she could live without being hunted.

Nicole’s only hope for success lies in the hands of the werewolves she hates and the Inquisition she fears, but finding someone to trust is only the beginning of her problems. There are those who want to ensure that the werewolves go extinct and that the Inquisition falls.

But, if she fails to find a cure, her family—including her twin sister—will perish…

Read an Excerpt:

I slammed my car’s door, spun on a heel, and swore I would have a perfectly normal visit to the mall. All I needed was one little book. Even I could walk into a bookstore, pick up a novel, and leave without causing any trouble.

This time, I wouldn’t blow out the lights. There wouldn’t be a single power surge. I wouldn’t turn on every unplugged device in the electronics store on my way across the mall. In the ten minutes it would take me to get in and out, the only thing anyone would notice about me was the fact that I wore a high-collared sweater in late summer. I had a mission, and I would complete it without fail. The novel my agent insisted I read would be mine.

For a long moment, I considered turning around and getting back into my car. Dominic would forgive me if I didn’t start reading the book until tomorrow. I could call in a favor and ask someone to pick up a copy for me. Then I definitely wouldn’t run any risk of blowing anything up. If I had been smart, I would’ve just ordered the damned thing on the internet, but I had waited too long.

Fishing my cell out of my pocket, I unlocked the screen with a swipe of my finger. The charging icon mocked me. Despite running every battery-draining app I could find, the battery held a full charge. I opened another app, a devilish program capable of killing the battery in ten minutes. It wouldn’t, not with me around, but if I was too busy keeping my phone topped up, maybe my mall shopping trip would prove to be mundane.

I shook my head, laughing at my foolishness.

No one would notice my phone. No one would notice me for more than a second. They’d notice my clothes, and then they’d file me away as yet another weirdo wearing something strange to catch attention. L.A. was full of people like that.

I had no reason to worry. Even if I managed to embarrass myself yet again by losing control of my powers, no one would know I was the cause of unplugged electronics turning on or unusual power surges. 

Straightening my shoulders, I fixed my eyes on the line of glass doors and marched my way across the parking lot.

In and out. No blown lights. No power surges. No feeding power to unplugged electrical devices. No charging batteries for strangers. I was in control, and I would charge only my phone.

Making my way to the entry, I paused long enough to hold the door for a little old lady who insisted on making her way through the regular doors despite her walker. I couldn’t blame her. If I lived to be her age, I wouldn’t want to rely on automatic doors either.

She thanked me with a pat on the arm. Flashing her my best smile, I slipped inside.

Nothing happened.


I could handle ten minutes in the crowded corridors. Maybe if I told myself that enough times, I’d believe it.

Purchase Your Copy:


Read About the Author:

RJ Blain suffers from a Moleskine journal obsession, a pen fixation, and a terrible tendency to pun without warning.

When she isn't playing pretend, she likes to think she's a cartographer and a sumi-e painter. In reality, she herds cats and a husband. She is currently on a quest for a new warrior fish.

In her spare time, she daydreams about being a spy. Should that fail, her contingency plan involves tying her best of enemies to spinning wheels and quoting James Bond villains until she is satisfied.

Find RJ Online:

RJ’s Favorite Books & Series in no particular order: 

Anne McCaffrey's Pern 

Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar & Gryphon Series 

Jim Butcher's Codex Alera & The Dresden Files 

Brandon Sanderson's Elantris 

Patricia Briggs' Alpha and Omega, Dragon Bones, & The Mercy Thompson series 

Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time

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